Riker could be on an away mission and come across the charred bones of a thousand murdered colonists and still stand a like 15% chance of getting distracted by dirty thoughts about the word “bone”. The fact that Lwaxana once tried to surprise-marry him while experiencing Betazoid Pon Farr is enough for approximately five seconds of actual self-reflection before the ol’ mental holodeck gets in gear anyway.
Also, you know, it’s something that I’m sure is covered amply in handwavy explanatory detail in branded prequel novels and such, but it’s actually a little weird to me that Riker doesn’t seem to know Lwaxana pretty much at all when she first shows up on the show. I mean, they know of each other, and Lwaxana certainly has no problem ribbing Deanna about lettin’ that fish slip the hook so she’s apparently even got some amount of mental investment in the concept of Riker as her daughter’s one-time serious lover and potential husband material. And yet, not much familiarity.
Maybe I’m just being too normative about familial relations; maybe contemporary Betazed kids tend to more aggressively compartmentalize their personal relationships from their parents compared to ancient humans; maybe Lwaxana was just out of reasonable warp range of Deanna during that whole Rikers-with-benefits era; maybe Deanna specifically just didn’t want to let worlds collide; maybe the only reason Lwaxana knows anything about Riker is that she’s a shameless mind-snooper. There’s a lot of angles here. But it sort of jumped out at me, skimming through the various early TNG episodes where Mrs. Troi makes her first few appearances.
Anyway, spend the rest of the day imagining Majel Roddenberry spanking Jonathan Frakes. YOU’RE WELCOME.